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Live! Modi govt paid off woman's family involved in snoopgate: Congress

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May 04, 2014


22:22  'Gujarat govt paid off woman's kin in snoopgate':  The controversy over the snoopgate scandal is refusing to die down. The Congress has now alleged that the Gujarat government led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi paid off the woman architect's family involved in the snoopgate scandal.
19:53  India successfully test fires Astra air-to-air missile:   India successfully test fires Astra air-to-air missile from a SU-30 combat aircraft, said the Defence Research and Development Organisation
19:42  Amethi one of the most backward constituencies: Jaitley:   Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley said on Sunday that the relationship of Rahul Gandhi with Amethi is "nominal" and it remains one of the most backward constituencies in the country.

"Despite having been a family stronghold for decades, the relationship of Rahul Gandhi with Amethi is nominal and it remains one of the most backward constituencies," Jaitley said in his blog.

Expressing his views about Amethi, he said, "Infrastructure in Amethi is inadequate. It is a constituency where internal roads are not the object of envy. Many industrial units are sick. It is a constituency of people living in inadequate houses."

Jaitley said that his party is determined to put up a fight in Amethi.
18:37  Congress seeks transfer of case against Modi outside Gujarat:  The Congress today claimed the Gujarat police was trying to "hush up" the case registered against Narendra Modi for poll code violation and urged the Election Commission to transfer the case to an agency outside the state.   

On April 30, an FIR was registered against Narendra Modi by the Gujarat police following an order of the Election Commission which held that he violated the electoral laws.   

Citing reports quoting the state police sources which said no case was made out against Modi, K C Mittal, secretary, AICC legal department said the police is trying to "hush up"the case and its claims are "misconceived, misleading and untenable".
18:27  Kedarnath Temple reopens almost a year after U'khand floods :   Sacred portals of the Kedarnath temple were reopened to devotees amid elaborate rituals early this morning, about a year after the Himalayan shrine was marred by flash floods that had left hundreds of people dead and many others stranded.

Chief priest of the shrine (Rawal) Bhima Shankar Ling presided over the rituals as its gates were opened amid chanting of vedic hymns, Badrinath-Kedarnath temple committee CEO V D Singh told PTI over phone.

About 1,252 devotees including eight foreign nationals visited the shrine on the opening day, he said.It is the first 'Char Dham' yatra after last year's calamity.
17:18  Rahul, Priyanka hold roadshow in Amethi:  Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi's roadshow in Amethi begins. Thousands of supporters gather for to get the glimpse of the Gandhis.

The brother-sister duo are seen travelling in a white car waving at the crowds gathered.

The roadshow comes a day ahead of Narendra Modi's rally in the Gandhi bastion.

Amethi goes to polls on May 7.

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections  
17:07  NIA team to reach Assam tomorrow:  The National Investigation Agency team will reach Assam tomorrow.

Thirty people, mostly women and children, have been killed in the violence so far in Lower Assam. 30 have been arrested from Kokrajhar and Baksa, most of them for providing logistical support to the culprits.   
16:47  11 arrested militants have no link with missing MH370: Police:   Malaysian police today dismissed a report that they were interrogating the 11 alleged militants arrested recently in connection with the mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370.

"That's rubbish! This has nothing to do with the plane," Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said while reacting to a report in the British media.

The militant group, which was targeted last week by Malaysian anti-terrorism unit, is believed to have networks in Syria and southern Philippines, and was planning to send Malaysian fighters to Damascus, Malaysia Star newspaper said.

The Daily Mirror
had reported yesterday that the 11 arrested alleged militants had links to the Al Qaeda, and were being questioned over the disappearance of Flight MH370 on March 8.

It said the suspects, including students, odd-job workers, a widow and business professionals, were members of a new terror group that were planning bomb attacks in Muslim countries.
16:35  Congress blames Modi for instigating Assam violence :  The Congress today attacked BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for the violence in Assam, saying it was a result of "communal polarisation" done by them to garner votes.   

"The violence in Assam is the result of communal polarisation being done by Narendra Modi and BJP. Since BJP's graph is going down now, they have raised the pitch. Modi's speech in Assam was an attempt to polarise voters," Congress leader Meem Afzal said.   

Thirty two people were killed, several others injured andthousands rendered homeless in two districts of Assam afterattacks by militants belong to the anti-talks IK Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland.
15:44  Modi dares EC to file another case against him:  NDTV reports: BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today hit back at the Election Commission -- which had earlier ordered the filing of a first information report against him for violating election laws -- and dared it to file "another case against him".

While addressing an election rally in Asansol in West Bengal, Mr Modi took on the EC, saying, "You have failed to stop rigging."

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
15:41  Won't abandon UPA: Omar after snoopgate snub:  After his tweet on the snoopgate, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister clarifies that his party, the National Conference, will not abandon the United Progressive Alliance.  
15:23  Pakistan's ISI planning to attack US, Israeli consulates in south India :  Central security agencies have claimed that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence had plans to carry out terror attacks on two foreign consulates in India with evidence for this reportedly given by a Sri Lankan national, arrested from Chennai, during his interrogation.   

Official sources claimed today that Sakir Hussain, a Sri Lankan national, told his interrogators that he had been hired allegedly by an official in Pakistani High Commission in Colombo as per the alleged ISI plans to conduct reconnaissance of United States consulate in Chennai and Israeli consulate in Bengaluru.       

Hussain was arrested on April 29 in a coordinated operation involving various countries including a South East Asian nation. He is reported to have told the interrogators that the Pakistan's spy agency was planning to send two men from Maldives to Chennai and that he had to arrange for their travel documents and hideouts.
14:51  Modi slams EC, says it failed to stop rigging in Bengal, Bihar, UP:  Accusing the Election Commission of inaction, the Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today said the poll panel failed to check violence and rigging during elections in West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

"I am putting serious allegations against you (EC). You have failed to stop rigging and violence in these areas. False cases have been filed against our candidate Babul Supriyo. The Election Commission's work is to protect people. I request you to fulfil your responsibilities in the right way," Modi told an election rally in support of Supriyo, the party candidate from the Asansol seat.

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
14:26  Omar Abdullah tweets dissent against Cong's snoopgate probe:  After the Nationalist Congress Party, another ally of the Congress voices dissent over the snoopgate panel. National Conference leader and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister tweeted today, "Setting up a commission of inquiry in the dying hours of UPA 2 is just wrong."

Omar tweeted that he was talking to his father Farooq Abdullah and he felt the same.  
13:29  NCP not for snoopgate panel at this stage: Parful Patel:  Nationalist Congress Party today opposed the snoopgate probe. "The NCP is not for the probe panel at this stage," NCP leader Parful Patel told CNN-IBN. 

The government has announced that it will assign a judge to investigate if the Gujarat police spied on a young woman architect at the behest of Narendra Modi, the Gujarat chief minister's close aide Amit Shah.

Follow latest poll updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
13:18  Anti-Naxal ops: CRPF prefers AK rifles to INSAS, bulk purchase on cards:  The Central Reserve Police Force, which is deployed for anti- Naxal operations, has decided to shun its standard weapon of combat, the indigenous INSAS rifle, and henceforth arm its troops exclusively with the AK series of assault rifles.

The force has also sought to procure 20,000 new AK series rifles for its troops deployed in the Left Wing Extremism affected areas in various states and counter-insurgency theatres in the north-east after it found that the INSAS rifle was not proving to be as "operationally suitable" as the Russian made AK-47 and -56 series of combat rifles.

The country's largest paramilitary force, with its three lakh personnel, is now planning to reduce the numbers of INSAS rifles in its armoury after a technical and scientific comparison with the sophisticated AK rifles found that the latter was more effective.
12:27  Train derails in Raigad, 8 passengers killed :  CNN-IBN reports: Eight passengers have been killed after five bogies of the Diwa-Sawantwadi passenger train derailed between Nagothane and Roha railway stations in Maharashtra's Raigad district this morning.

The police said the incident occurred in a tunnel near Nidi village.

Photograph: ANI/Twitter
12:23  Govt says it seeks Sonia's nod for ads:  A central directorate has said government advertisements are "approved' by the United Progressive Alliance chairperson's office besides that of the prime minister, prompting the Opposition to cite this as evidence of its claim that Sonia Gandhi was involved in the government's day-to-day running, the Telegraph reports.

In reply to an Right To Information question, the directorate of audio visual publicity, which functions under the Union information and broadcasting ministry, said, DAVP is the nodal agency of the Government of India and releases advertisements to the newspapers/periodicals on behalf of various ministries/departments. The designs of the advertisements are sent by the concerned client ministries/departments after due approval from the PMO and the office of the UPA chairperson.

Read the full report here

RTI activist P.G. Sunil Kumar, who hails from Keralas Ernakulam district, had sought the information.


11:56  Assam violence: Locals in Baksa demand CM's visit:  Demanding that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi visit their area, people of Salbari in Assam's violence-hit Baksa district on Sunday refused to bury their kin killed in attacks by National Democratic Front of Bodoland-S militants.

Angry protestors in the Nankekhadrabari area on Sunday said they will not perform the last rites of the bodies of the 18 people, including children and women, till Gogoi comes and personally assures to provide security to their lives and property.
11:51  Pak violates ceasefire again, third incident in nine days:  Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire for the third time in nine days by firing with small arms and automatic weapons on Indian posts along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district.

Army troops guarding the borderline retaliated and the exchanges between the two sides continued till 11.45 pm yesterday.

"Pakistani troops resorted to small arms and automatic weapons firing on Indian posts along the LoC in Mendhar sector in Poonch district from 2330 hours last night," a defence spokesperson said today.
11:36  Train derails in Maharashtra's Raigad district:  Two bogies of the Diva-Sawantwadi passenger train derail near Nagothane in Raigad district. Three to four people have been injured in the accident.

The movement of  trains on the Konkan railway route has been hit.  
11:28  The politics over Assam violence :  The Telegraph reports: The flare-up in Assam that has claimed at least 30 lives so far has been linked to the Lok Sabha polls following national and local allegations that lay the blame at diametrically different doors.

Outside Assam, Narendra Modis speeches in the state blaming Bangladeshi infiltration have been held responsible for creating an atmosphere that fomented trouble.

Within Assam, the ally of the Congress-led government is under fire for an alleged ethnic cleansing campaign aimed at re-engineering the voting population.

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah told an election rally that the BJPs prime ministerial candidate made a speech in Assam three days ago and tried to incite people. This truth cannot be denied.

The BJP responded by saying that in Assam what is happening is because of the vote-bank politics of the Congress.

Read the full report here

00:03  Don't miss this selfie from the red planet:  
Don't miss this selfie from the red planet.

NASA's rover Curiosity has started drilling on Mars for the third time and did not miss the opportunity to take its Martian self-portrait.

The drill has begun at a geologically interesting location nicknamed 'The Kimberley'.

In this selfie, Curiosity appears to be leaning its 'head' -- a suite of instruments including the Chemcam and Mastcam cameras to the side - capturing the 5 km high Aeolis Mons ('Mount Sharp') on the horizon.
00:02  Sonia to offer chadar at Ajmer Dargah today:  
Congress President Sonia Gandhi will offer a chadar at the tomb of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer dargah on Sunday during the ongoing Urs.

Union Minister Sachin Pilot, AICC secretary Mirza Irshad Baig and MP Asq Ali Tak would offer the chadar on behalf of Sonia, PCC spokesperson Archana Sharma said. 

They will arrive in Jaipur on Sunday and will leave for Ajmer to offer the chadar at the dargah during the ongoing Urs of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, she said.

The Urs festival commemorates the death anniversary of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. It is celebrated every year in the seventh month of the Islamic lunar calendar, depending on the sighting of the moon.
00:02  Many wrestlers in SP to stop '56 inch chest': Akhilesh:  
Taking dig at '56 inch chest' remarks of Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has said that Samajwadi Party has several "wrestlers" to stop him.

"Only SP people can counter the BJP prime ministerial candidate, who is roaming with a "56 inch chest". 

The party has several wrestlers, who can stop the one who claims to have '56 inch chest'," Akhilesh said while addressing an election rally at Khalilabad in Sant Kabir Nagar.

Modi, in a rally in Gorakhpur in April had said that "56 inch chest" was needed to turn Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat
00:02  Why Narendra Modi could win big:  
The king of the virtual political world he is, but that is not the only explanation for Narendra Modis apparent supremacy in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. There are other reasons -- often surprising -- that have propelled him close to the winning line.

Here are six factors helping Modi, some of which journalist Vijay Simha only discovered during the course of his current tour of a few areas in Uttar Pradesh.

Click HERE to read 

00:01  Top headlines at this hour::  Vajpayee's companion Rajkumari Kaul dead
Afghanistan landslide kills 350, hundreds missing
Chennai blasts: CCTV image provides first clue
Centre offers violence-hit Assam more forces
WB: 6 rescued from abandoned mine
Congress won't support Third Front: Rahul Gandhi
15 killed in fire at cracker factory in Ujjain

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